Rick Green


'A Coming Of Age In Oxford' - Poem by Rick Green

Destitute of property
I own my name
Alone
And three yards of rope
For a dog to hang a lead upon
Or, maybe, me

A cold bleak February
Gutters
Taking with it
Faded memories of
Childhood cuddles
Mother’s hugs
And schoolboy hopefulness

And adulthood
I have no wish to enter
But cannot evade
Lies in wait
At the door
To capture me

Nations’ future rulers
Nobel prize winners
May later squat in this refuge
Where I lay shivering
All night
To escape the snow
And withering cold
And must surface from
Blowing into my hands
For warmth
Rubbing my sleep denied
Yet crusted eyes
Blinking into St Giles’ dawn

Heading for Carfax
The Player’s packet
Filling the hole
In my sole
Is damp through
My socks are wet too
And putrid from a winter’s wearing

I have a last shilling
Plenty to buy
A half hour of
Covered Market
Tea stall hospitality

Eighteen today
A collar means jail
So making sure
The law
Patrols the furthest aisle
I stoop and lift up
A food stall's
Canvas cover corner
Grabbing packets blind
And find
Dates for energy
And bourbons
To dunk in my cup

Around me daily
Academics aspiring
Parade a wealth
Of prospects
Abundant futures
Their eyes on glittering prizes

They don't see me

There is for me
No luxury
Of covert glancing at passers by
Or wondering at the stark beauty
Of naked trees
Lowering clouds
Or colleges
With dreaming histories

I scour the ground
Stepping around
Grey grit slush
Seeking a glittering prize
A shining half crown
A florin
A shilling
Or a silver tanner
That would make this birthday
One to remember

Topic(s) of this poem: memoirs

Form: Free Verse


Comments about 'A Coming Of Age In Oxford' by Rick Green

  • Brian Mayo (11/1/2015 8:28:00 AM)


    A dismal reality, painted in short, vivid brushstrokes. Your poem begins magnificently, and stays strong and on-point until its wonderfully depressing conclusion.10 (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, November 1, 2015



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